A/N: I don't know what happened in tonight's episode (4x16), just like I don't know what happened really on any episode since the break (4x12-now), except for a few vague details here and there. I did hear however that it was NOT a good episode for CB shippers (don't tell me anything!), and the worst thing my mind could come up with was Blair telling Dan she's now in love with him (or falling in love with him) & that he's better to her than Chuck ever was or ever could be. That would kill me, and…yeah, I'm not going to vent about something that might not have even happened. XD I'm going to try to mend my emotional wounds through this oneshot. There is heavy DB in here too, along with some LB, just so you know. Any and all events that happen in here that are not from before 4x12 are made up in my head, based off of what I've heard from the current/future episodes. Please review, and once again, don't give away anything away for me! ;p
*I own nothing.
She'd been here before. It had been awhile since her last visit, but the place was not strange. The flooring was a little different. The floors had been replaced in their shade of classy color. The smell of the air around her wasn't the same. It was heavier somehow. Maybe it was all from her perspective though. Her dress felt heavy. The world didn't seem to have much color. She felt blinded and dragged down in the midst of it all. Too many people loved her.
"Is there something you want to tell me, Blair?"
She heard the sound of her best friend's chain purse settle on the high table just inside the room. She stilled and turned around slowly, greeting the eyes that held more emotions than they were willing to let on.
"I don't know what you're talking about," she said, walking across the room in the hopes that she would find something to distract herself. She sufficed herself with filling a watering can and searching for a plant that she was sure had been in the room at one point. Then she remembered. The plant was upstairs. In her bedroom. Lilies. Dan had brought them. She'd seen them and decided they were her new favorite flowers. She'd also decided that it didn't matter what kind of chocolates she received. It was being a little too picky to be specific about the brand, Dan had said.
"Okay, then I'll just tell you." She folded her arms across her chest, her shiny coat rising up a bit above her stomach. Blair could feel the tension in the room. It could cut like a knife, and she knew it would. She'd seen this conversation coming the whole past week when she'd tried to keep secret what had happened between herself and the boy she'd mostly loathed she met him. No longer.
"Did you or did you not have sex with Dan?"
Blair turned to look at her best friend, struggling between a bitchy remark and a heartfelt one. Despite the hurt bubbling under the surface on her best friend's face, her natural instincts got the better of her. It was what happened whenever she got backed into a corner she did not want to be in but knew she rightly deserved to be in.
"He wasn't cheating on you, S. You hold no claim over him." Her face was confident and strong, holding her ground. She'd spoken the truth, even if she could place numerous different similar situations where she would not have excused her actions had she been in Serena's place.
"Oh, really?" the blonde couldn't help but let a sniffle slip out. Blair knew it was going to break her heart later. She always hurt later. In the moment though all she needed was to hold the upper hand, and then she would be fine. "I'm sure you wouldn't mind then if I slept with Chuck," she said nonchalantly, like it was the easiest thing in the world.
Blair flinched, but then quickly resolved herself. "Chuck doesn't believe in incest."
Serena's raised her brows, fully prepared to point out a few instances in which he'd said otherwise. Most of the times being when Lily and Bart were just engaged.
Blair's sighed testily and rolled her eyes with a wave of her hand. "He often annoys people by insisting on things he didn't believe in, especially when it's of a sexual nature."
"Was your one-night stand with Dan a mistake, Blair?" she asked softly.
Blair lifted her eyes to her best friend's who was now close to tears. Then she felt her heart ache. It was very inconvenient at a time like this when she wanted to justify herself for something she'd known would have serious consequences. In the moment she hadn't cared, but she'd known there would be consequences. It wasn't the first time she'd committed such an act.
She shook her head slowly, looking away for a moment. "No," she breathed. She cleared her throat, trying to overcome the sick feeling she got when looking into her best friend's heartbroken face. She'd never done something like this before, never really been the one at fault. She was the one who retaliated when people broke her heart. And though she could argue that this situation was no different from the normal trend, it was. Anyone could argue that point.
"Do you…" Serena swallowed hard, tears starting to let loose from her eyes. They slipped one by one down the sides of her face. Her cheeks were wet with the streams within moments. "Do you love him?" she managed.
Blair wanted to cry.
"I mean…you've always loathed him. You hated him right from the beginning. I noticed that sometimes he helped you through something or other, but that never changed your overall feelings for him. I mean, what—"
"Stop." Blair held up a hand, unable to bear another word. Serena looked up at her, tears still in her eyes, not even trying to get upset again. Just heartbroken. "You were with Ben. Chuck was with Raina. And I was falling apart." She swallowed. Serena just listened. She didn't say a word. "I heard some of the things Chuck said to Raina. He sounded in love." She sighed and shrugged. "You weren't around. You were out dealing with your boarding school lover, or whatever…" she shook her said. "I needed someone, and he was there. It just…happened."
"The sex…just happened," Serena said, ignoring the rest of what she'd said.
Blair sighed and shook her head a little. "No. Well, sort of. I mean, I wasn't expecting it right then, but…"
"But?" Serena tilted her head to the side, her fingers shaking.
"The feelings just happened, Serena."
"So, it's true," she managed. "You really do love him. You're done with Chuck, done with Nate, and you're in love with the only guy I've really…" She shook her head. Blair parted her lips, searching for words she could not find. It killed her to see the anguish on her best friend's face. "And he loves you," Serena said. Blair looked up at her slowly. "He told you," she said. "And he told me."
"I have to go," she said quickly, gathering up her purse and turning around. In a moment she was out of the room and the ding of the elevator was heard. Blair sighed. She had wanted to stop her, explain things, justify it, make things right. But she couldn't find the words to say. Dan had clearly started to rub off on her. She hadn't even been bitchy when she'd tried to explain the situation. She'd said it calmly, and when her best friend started to leave, she said nothing, because whatever she would have come up with would not have been nice to say. It would have made her feel a little better in the moment, but it would not have been nice.
The click of her heels on the floor scared her. It was as if she was really there now. She wasn't just seeing the movie play in her head for the millionth time. It wasn't another dream or a nightmare. It wasn't a memory. She thought of backing up into the elevator, returning to the lobby floor and returning to where she'd come from, where she was expected to be, but then she'd have to hear the click of her heel again.
"I can't do this. We can't do this. It's hurting her."
"She'll get over it." He took her hands and tried to hold her close, but she tensed and put some distance between them. He did not let go of her hands.
"I wouldn't get over it."
It looked as if he understood. He ran his hand down her upper arm. "Hey, don't feel so responsible. It was mutual." He smiled a little. "Plus, Serena will move on to another guy in no time."
She sighed and shook her head, releasing herself and walking a short distance away, staring into space. "I wouldn't if I were her. If it were her and Chuck, there would be no way I'd forgive her."
"You forgave her when she slept with Nate, and that was cheating."
She shook her head and looked at her fidgeting hands. "That was different."
His head reared back a little and his brows fused. "How?" His mind was confused. He didn't understand.
"It's Chuck," she said, as if it explained everything. Turning back towards him, she saw his face pale to an eerie milk-white.
"You remember how broken I was over what happened with him and Raina. And I don't think anyone could forget how furious I was when he slept with Jenny." She ignored his question.
"Blair," he pressed. She ignored it.
"I mean, a love like that… you just can't forgive when someone…"
"You were broken over Nate too," he reasoned, using her tactic of ignoring the inevitable truth. She waved the fact away like it didn't matter.
"Not like this—that," she corrected. He blinked and walked towards her, halting just outside her personal bubble. He was good at that, staying a safe enough distance away until she consented he come a little closer.
"Am I…I'm not…am I your rebound?" he asked, lacing humor in his voice to keep from hurting.
"No, no, of course not!" she said, grasping his arms fiercely. She sighed and put on a brave face. She cupped his face in her hands. She kissed him. "No," she whispered against his face, nuzzling him till she felt him relax. "I love you," she said.
"I love you too," he said, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his chin on her shoulder. Almost right after he did it though, she pulled away. He looked at her hopefully. Sometimes a kiss and a hug and an 'I love you' fixed everything. By the look on her face, he guessed that was not the case this time.
"But it's too complicated, Dan." She sighed. "I want my best friend back."
"Hey, I've been a pretty good friend to you, I think," he said, lacing humor into his words again.
"My best girl friend," she emphasized, placing a hand on his collarbone.
"But…" he shook his head, unable to really grasp what she was saying. "You said I was better than him, that I hadn't hurt you, that I'd never hurt you, not like he had. Sometimes, you said, you even regretted loving him in the first place."
Blair shut her eyes at the recited words. She swallowed and then opened her eyes, focusing on the words she needed to say and not the desperation pulsing in his eyes.
"This has nothing to do with Chuck," she said, refusing to waver from the statement. She didn't know if it was true or not, and she didn't want to dwell on the fact that it might not be. "It doesn't even entirely have to do with Serena." She sighed and dropped her hand from his body to her side. "We just can't be together, Dan. I'm sorry."
"Wh—? Blair!" He walked after her as she weaved her way throughout the room. He was a great fighter, she thought, but twenty minutes later his revolve was still firm and he left. He looked sad. She felt broken.
She spotted a chair nearby and wondered how many steps it would take to get to it. She couldn't hear anyone rummaging about down the hallway. Maybe he was sleeping. She doubted he'd be doing such a thing after the grand gesture he'd made to her two nights before, but it was possible. He drowned in his sorrows many different ways. Sleeping had, strangely enough, become the most common. Her dress rustled as she made her way to the chair. Walking on her tiptoes, she discovered, created far less noise. She liked that fact. It made her smile a little.
She turned around slowly. The voice sounded familiar, but her head had been spinning so much lately that she didn't know if she was discerning correctly. Her heart stopped in her chest when she saw who was standing before her.
"Blair, actually," she corrected, overwhelming joy bubbling up inside her. She hadn't felt that kind of joy in over a month, and then it had only been brief. Maybe it had lasted a few weeks. She could not tell though if even then that had been the greatest joy she'd had.
"Blair," he said in his gorgeous French accent, holding out his hand for her to take. She blushed, reaching forward. She flushed further when he kissed her soft skin lightly. "It's been a long time," he said. He gave her a once over. "You are still so beautiful."
She smiled, the happiness overflowing. No. She hadn't felt this treasured in awhile. It didn't seem so at least. He pulled his hand out from behind his back and held the object out to her. She laughed.
"My shoe," she commented, laughing lightly as she took it from him.
"Will you try it on for me?" he asked very genteelly.
She continued to smile, giving him a curt nod. "Of course, your majesty," she teased, slipping out of one shoe and slipping on the one he'd returned to her.
"Ah." He admired the sight. "A perfect fit," he said, looking up at her after he'd examined how the shoe fit on bended knee. Her eyes sparkled as he looked at her.
"I must be your Cinderella."
Three proposals in two years. Two proposals rather. One almost proposal. On the Upper East Side that wasn't exactly uncommon. It was uncommon however to have them all before getting married to each of them for at least six months. She'd accepted two of them, declined one of them. The other one she was still thinking about. She was a very indecisive woman it seemed. She was contemplating even now if she should reject – very belatedly – the second proposal she'd accepted. Of course she knew already that she was going to. Her surroundings proved it. She hadn't left. She'd used her shoes as an excuse to stay. She'd been drawn to this place since the beginning, and even now it lured her in. It was magnetic.
"You can't marry him!" He pulled her aside into a room just off the hallway. She snapped her arm away.
"Dan, what are you doing here?" she seethed.
"I was on the guest list!" he defended.
"You and the rest of New York," she said flippantly with a roll of her eyes. "Oh, and all of France too." She nodded encouragingly, mockingly, clearly only trying to get rid of him.
"What's that supposed to mean?" His voice squeaked at the end of his sentence.
"It means there are probably thousands of people here and you were only invited because we were being polite!" she said in a heated whisper, her brows narrowed. He huffed.
"Jesus, Blair, it's not like you've been that available to talk to lately. Ever since you broke things off—"
"There was nothing to break off!" She shrieked, closing her eyes a moment after when she realized she was getting out of control, acting childish. She moved past him to close the door they'd entered through and lock it. "We were together for like two seconds, Humphrey."
He scoffed. "Or a week," he said sarcastically.
"That was in secret," she seethed. "It doesn't count." She crossed her arms across her chest roughly.
She nodded once. "Really."
"So, that affair you had with Chuck junior year? That "secret" one? Do you not count that as part of your 2-year on again-off again relationship?"
Her eyes narrowed.
He sighed. "Look, Blair, I just want you to think about reconsidering."
"No!" She stomped down hard on his foot. He ground out a groaning sound. She looked at him expectantly, hoping he would leave.
"Serena's forgiven you," he ground out, clearly still feeling in pain. "Chuck's out of the picture as far as I'm concerned."
She raised his eyebrows in question.
"He hasn't fought for you at all and you're about to marry the prince of France!"
She ignored those facts and looked away.
"Look, Blair." He took her hands. "I'm here, fighting for you, and it's okay for you to let me. It's not complicated anymore. People won't be angry with us if we're together. And I swear I'll treat you better than anyone else ever could. There's something between us. You can't deny it."
She looked at him for awhile, questioning the matter in her head.
"I have to admit though…I don't think I'll be able to afford an engagement ring quite as luxurious as his."
She shook her head and laughed for a moment, but then she stilled and looked at him with wide eyes. They spoke the inner truths of what he'd just said. She felt chills erupt all over her entire body. Her breath caught in her throat, and all she could think was how quickly she could get away from the dress rehearsal.
There was a noise coming from the bedroom down the hall finally. She could hear him breathing. It was a yawn. Her suspicions were confirmed. He'd been napping.
"Nate?" he called out. She felt her face grow warm. She'd forgotten how wonderful his voice sounded, even just from two nights before, even from their occasional encounters on the street and at social gatherings. She'd missed him over the last couple years. She'd missed them.
Now or never, she chanted inside her head. Now or never, Blair, now or never. She stood to her feet, accepting the click her heels made on the marble floor. She hadn't thought to walk on her tiptoes this time. Her dress almost got caught between the heels and the floor.
"A gown fit for a princess."
She would have turned around if she hadn't seen him plainly in her mirror. She couldn't decide between bitchy or delicate, so she went for common sense normal.
"Except I'm not marrying a prince this time." She smirked.
He shrugged and leaned his back against the doorframe. "He was too good for you anyways."
"You would know," she said, shaking her head on a small laugh.
"Better than anyone."
She bit her lip and turned around, walking halfway across the room and stopping. He lifted his head, turned and looked at her. She swore a breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. Her face was crestfallen. How many times in her younger years had she wished it would be him she'd be dressing for.
"What are you doing here, Chuck?" she asked softly.
He shook himself of the unintended spell she'd put him under. "I wanted to see the bride, wish her well, etcetera etcetera." She raised her eyebrows in disbelief. "We haven't seen each other in awhile, and in two days you'll be…"
She felt her heart beat faster.
"You'll be gone."
"Chuck, I won't be gone. I'll still be here."
"You're marrying a Brooklynite," he emphasized.
"He hasn't been one of those in years." She folded her arms across her chest, the straps of her silver-white gown slipping a little past her shoulders. He reached out gently and pushed them back up, his fingers lightly grazing her skin. She shivered.
"And if you were going to fight for me why didn't you do it at my last dress rehearsal?" She quirked an eyebrow.
"You weren't going to marry that prince," he said, as if it had been obvious from the start.
"No?" she asked in her teasing, flirtatious voice, very pleased with herself that she'd gotten him to confess.
"No," he said, his brows narrowed slightly. "You may dream of that fairytale happy ending, Blair, but realistically speaking, you're too wild to really be satisfied with that sort of lifestyle. And you need someone to understand you. I bet you anything, that prince Louis of yours never even saw your bitchy side."
"I don't have a bitchy side, Chuck. Not anymore."
He raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "No?" he asked, throwing back her own teasing question in her face.
"No," she said emphatically.
"I can recall a few maids and waiters that would beg to differ," he said. "From just a few minutes ago too." He smirked as she evaded his gaze. "Cooking must be done to perfection, nothing more, nothing less, am I right?" He taunted her with her own words.
She blew out a puff of air, exasperated. "They were doing it all wrong." She tossed her arms about. "And it's going to be my wedding reception! How can they not understand that?" she shrieked.
The smirk did not slip from his face. "Oh, I'm sure the wild words and pans you threw in their faces sent the message loud and clear."
She shook her head and laughed a little nervously. "Okay, fine, so I can still be a bitch sometimes. That doesn't mean Louis didn't have the chance to—"
His eyebrows rose again and she sighed. "Fine. He never saw that side of me." She paused. "But Dan has!" she threw in his face. He seemed completely unfazed.
"Yes," he consented. "He's also tried to change that side of you."
She looked at him in bewilderment. "Being bitchy is not a good quality, Chuck."
He shrugged and leaned against the doorjamb. "I never had a problem with it. In fact, I was always quite fond of it, especially in bed." His eyes darkened and his voice lowered to its seductive level. She hadn't heard him talk like that to her in awhile. "You were one feisty vixen in your—"
"Chuck…" She shook her head, trying to brush away the memories she'd become so good at keeping at bay.
"What? Want me to leave? Don't want to remember how good it was?" he taunted, though she could sense very obviously the seriousness that lie beneath.
"It wasn't good, Chuck. You had an uncanny talent for hurting me in every possible way."
"I never cheated on you."
"I never came in between you and your best friend."
"I was there for you."
Her eyes flickered up to his steady gaze. "Sometimes."
He nodded. "I'll allow that." He pursed his lips, grateful she did not interrupt the extended silence he'd precisely planned out. "No one will love you as much as I do, Blair. Not even Humphrey."
She stilled, in disbelief that he could say such a thing, and so romantically and fiercely too, while still lounging against the doorframe. He turned then and faced her. He took her hands in his own.
"No one will understand you like I do. No one will be as grateful to you as I have been. Because you never saved Humphrey's life. You never kept him from the brink of disaster. Humphrey fell for your sweet bitchiness and then he tried to take out the pieces he didn't like. In a way, he's a less intense version of Nate, sort of the in between me and Nate."
"Don't marry him," he said, his hands tightening around hers.
She pulled her hands roughly away. "You've hurt me too many times. And you can't say this time it'll be different, because there's no way I can know that. Every time you've said it, you've proved yourself wrong. You've broken every promise, and it doesn't matter that I still love you or that I've forgiven you for everything just like I always do, because I'm not willing to put myself in harm's way again."
"You still love me?"
Of course he'd pull that sole part out of it, she thought, annoyed at herself for admitting to it out loud. She put a hand to her forehead and pressed, wondering if she developing a headache or just nerve-wracking sweat.
"You can't marry someone if you're in love with someone else. Lily and Rufus are an excellent example."
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and opened them. "I love him more," she said, ignoring how broken he looked. "I wouldn't be able to bear it if I left him for you when I know you'll just destroy me all over again. He hasn't hurt me, not once, not like you."
"He hasn't loved you like I have either."
She pursed her lips tightly, willing herself not to cry. She knew she wouldn't be able to claim hold the upper hand for long. Her emotions were raging too strongly.
"You need to go," she said, not looking at him.
"I haven't ever loved anyone else but you. Not even when it looked like it, and I'm sorry for every time it hurt you. I was just trying to cope while you were—"
"Chuck," she warned.
"I know you won't believe me, but I swear I've changed. I really won't hurt you again, not like before, I swear. And Blair," he took her hands and gripped her fingers tightly again. "I can't live without you," he breathed.
"Leave," she managed on watery tears.
"Go!" she nearly shouted in his face, her eyes glistening with tears. He looked broken again and she couldn't stand it. She breathed out a ginormous teary sigh and disappeared into the bathroom. When she came out he was gone.
His steps coming down the hall shook her to her core. She knew exactly when he'd spotted her in the spot just between the living room and the hallway because for one tiny millisecond she couldn't breathe.
"Blair," he breathed. He was all choked up. She felt shivers run through her at the sight. It was amazing how wonderful she felt just seeing him look at her in admiration and awe, even though he'd seen her in the dress before, two days prior.
"Chuck." She took a deep breath and closed the distance between them.
"I'm confused…" he said, looking like an adorably little lost boy. "Aren't you supposed to be getting married?"
"The wedding's not for an hour," she said in a cheery voice. He looked at her as if she'd gone mad.
"So, what is this? You're picking me up? Taking me to the one wedding I was very well planning not to go to?" He was outraged. She decided then it was probably best not to tease. She pulled him into the middle of the living room and draped her arms around his neck. She shook her head. He still looked beyond confused, but he didn't pull away. He didn't move at all. He just searched her eyes for some sort of explanation he could explain.
"I think I was disillusioned, Chuck," she said finally, a sigh escaping her. "I don't think I love Dan anymore. I don't know if I ever really did."
He blinked, his brows formed a solid line. He was still confused. "What are you saying?" he asked somewhat impatiently.
She breathed out and then leaned forward, kissing him, relishing in the feel of his full lips against her own. It'd been so long since she'd felt so free in a kiss. She felt like she was flying. Kissing Louis and Dan had been magical, but somehow it just hadn't compared.
Eventually Chuck did pull away, still looking confused but obviously regretting pulling away from her cherry-glossed lips. "I'm saying," she said slowly, deliberately. "That I can't marry Dan. Because I love you, only you. All I wanted was for you to fight for me." She shrugged. "I'm the runaway bride." She smiled, tears glistening in her eyes.
He looked at her intently, slightly relaxing but still on edge. It sounded and felt too good to be true. He didn't know if he could trust that this was really happening.
"I've realized in the last two days, thinking about what you said, that the reason I keep turning proposals down in the end is because the only person I want to marry is you. And as much as I hate to believe it, I do believe you when you say you won't hurt me again. We've been through so much together and we've learned from our mistakes, and—"
"I won't hurt you again, Blair, I swear," he said without thinking, his hands instantly flying to her waist and gripping firmly.
"I know," she said on a tiny gasp.
He shook his head in disbelief, but then did not wait another second. One of his hands hastily wrapped around the back of her neck and he pulled her to him, kissing her wildly.
"I love you, Blair," he breathed heavily when they finally parted. "I love you so much." His fingers tightened in her hair. "And damn if you don't look so god-damned beautiful in that dress."
She smiled against him. "Flattery will you get you nowhere, Bass."
He smiled against her. She could feel it all over her, the ripples of excitement spread throughout her entire body. She pulled her face away a little and cupped his face in her hands. His eyes were so love-struck she knew she could drown in them forever.
"Promise you'll marry me," she requested, a huge breath caught in her throat, probably the same size as his. She could feel him shiver and sweat when he heard her words.
"Only if you say yes." He leaned in to kiss her. She eagerly gave in to the passionate embrace, slaughtering his mouth with her twisting tongue and tasty lips. His mouth moved to her throat and then to her ear. "And show up to the altar of course," he whispered seductively into her ear. She shivered up against him as she smiled, knowing she'd never felt so in love in her entire life, not even when they'd been together before. He'd left her alone, hadn't fought for her because he thought she was better without him. He'd tried to make it work with other girls, but no one ever came close. And maybe she had fallen for Dan. Maybe she'd fallen for Louis too. But it had been futile in the grand scheme of things, the big picture. Because he was Chuck Bass and she was Blair Waldorf, and damned if they weren't meant to be together.
"I promise," she said.
"I never stopped loving you," he said, repeating the notion from before. She was surprised by how choked up he sounded.
"Neither did I," she murmured against him, capturing his lips once more.
Later in bed as he held her close, he asked her, "What did you do with Humphrey's engagement ring? It's not on your finger."
She yawned and snuggled closer to him, nuzzling her face into his warm silk-covered chest. "I threw it in the river."
A/N: Hope you enjoyed it. It makes me feel better….as I go to bed at 2 in the morning. Lol. Please review! ;D And remember don't tell me anything about the current episodes! Vote on the poll on my profile now too. I'm needing motivation to update my stories. XD